Make Mine a Mine Shine!

I can seriously consider this as essential jet fuel for the modern Asian urban warrior: MineShine Milk Tea from UNI President.  It’s not too sweet, not too rich, affordable, portable, and has a kinder jag than caffeine.  It’s perfect for starting the day or for calming yourself down during those times when you feel like going stir-crazy!.

Waiter! Is that Gravy on my Tendon?

Whenever we think tendon (short for tempura donburi; definitely not the cartilagenous sort found in your ankles), we usually think of a bowl of rice with several pieces of assorted tempura on top.  The whole thing is drizzled over with tentsuyu, the standard-issue mixture of mirin, dashi stock, and soy sauce.

The tendon at Teriyaki Boy, however, is something that will make tempura purists freeze in their tracks and faint.  Rather than a bowl of rice with a combination of prawn and vegetable tempura, one gets a bowl of rice with three prawns covered with what appears to be brown gravy.  The “gravy” is actually tentsuyu simmered with either panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or tempura batter bits till thick.

The whole thing tastes pretty good, really.  If you’re a tempura purist, I’m pretty sure you may turn your nose up at it.  However, if you’re a certified prawn-a-holic like me, this will suit you just fine.

In Search of the Better Burger – Part V: Burgers on Rice?!

Those of you who are used to the notion of burger patties being stuffed into buns will probably be horrified to know that these neatly grilled pats of beef are often served with rice in various parts of Asia.  There’s the usual burger steak at Jollibee: essentially a localized take on the classic Salisbury steak wherein the beef patties are smothered with mushroom gravy and served with a rice ball.  Then there are the Japanese hamburg steaks that come coated with a tangy tomato- or Worcestershire-based sauce – a rather surprising experience for the tastebuds.

If you’re used to burger sandwiches pepped up with ketchup and mustard or the mild beefy flavors of gravy on a burger steak, the sauce used for Smairu‘s hamburg steak donburi can be quite the eye-opener.  The flavor is sweetish but packs an almost puckery, vinegary sharpness.  Plain rice makes a good buffer, but I’ve been told that most people prefer to have this rice bowl with Japanese-style fried rice (cha han) as the tang seems to magnify the soy and vegetable flavors.

Well, that’s all very well and good as far as the sauce is concerned.  The burger patties used for this donburi are, alas, on the mushy side and taste disappointingly of extenders.  Moreover, the beefy rush one usually gets from well-made beef patties probably won’t stand a chance as far as the flavors of the sauce are concerned.  In my opinion, the sauce is too aggressively flavored and lowers the diner’s opinion of the dish considerably.

I’ve had better burger steaks elsewhere.  However, dear SybDive readers, that’s a story for another day.

A Bite of Unagi for the Blues

If you’re a hard-core foodie who loves to cook, the loss of one’s kitchen can be a real nightmare. Given the fact that our house is currently under renovation and that dust (both sawdust and unmixed cement) is flying all over the place, working in the kitchen is certainly not a given. Truth be told, the past few weeks have been sheer hell for me; alas, what can I do?

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